Global Vehicle Trust is a company whose mission is to provide light trucks that can benefit developing countries, such as in parts of Asia and Africa. In these impoverished regions of the world, transportation is harder to come by (as are paved roads), making it especially difficult to get food, farming supplies, fresh water, and goods to villages. The Ox is a truck that could help. It's designed to be lightweight (easy to deliver), built to handle a lot of payload, easy to build, and capable of driving on rough terrain. The truck is about the same length as a car, and weighs about 3300 pounds, yet offers an impressive 4400-pound payload. That's more than most American pickups offer. The truck was designed to EU guidelines, so it can carry eight 44-gallon oil drums, three Euro-spec pallets, or 13 people. The Ox even has a power takeoff, which is capable of running a generator, or machinery that could cut wood, pump water, or help power whatever other work tools a village may need. The front-drive truck is powered by a 2.2-liter diesel and has short front and rear overhangs, independent front suspension, and plenty of ground clearance. Fording depth is nearly 30 inches.

The Ox was also designed to be easy to ship and assemble. The company explains that the truck is flat-packed within itself, eliminating the need for a lot of pallets or a costly box, which cuts shipping costs. One standard 40-foot-tall shipping container can carry six Ox vehicles, including the engines and transmissions. And when a country purchases vehicles, the Trust finds local concerns to provide assembly and later maintain them.

Once the shipping container arrives, assemblers will find that the parts are made with simplicity in mind. Most of the body panels are interchangeable on the left or right side. The vehicle was designed to have as few parts as possible to make assembly quicker and easier. According to Global Vehicle Trust, one Ox can be assembled by three people in about 11.5 hours.

Global Vehicle Trust realizes there may be more demand for this vehicle than just in developing countries, and we expect that the company might make these fully assembled trucks available for sale in Europe. They expect farmers and estate owners to be interested. We think this truck may also have some appeal in the U.S., where ranchers, farmers, and others could use a truck on the property, even if it couldn't be legally driven on public roads.

The Trust is a charitable subsidiary of another charity, the Norman Trust. It has made a point of ensuring that the Ox can be provided at as low a cost as possible to the people who need it all over the world. Any profits from selling the trucks will go to more development of the Ox, and maybe to other products like it that would help villages in need.

Source: Global Vehicle Trust